Manchester United lead clubs’ rejection of European Super League

Manchester United have said that they remain “fully committed” to working with Uefa as a number of clubs come out against new proposals for a European Super League.

The Super League project was given renewed life by a ruling at the European Court of Justice that found that Uefa had acted unlawfully in blocking the original plans for the competition in April 2021.

A22 Sports, the company behind the idea, have subsequently unveiled new, revamped plans for a midweek tournament comprising 64 men’s clubs in three tiers, as well as a 32-team women’s competition.

Manchester United were one of six Premier League clubs included among 12 backers of the project two and a half years ago, but soon pulled out after significant opposition from English fans.

And the Old Trafford club have underlined that their position remains the same as they bid to work through the European Club Association (ECA) to develop European football.

“Our position has not changed,” Manchester United said in a statement. “We remain fully committed to participation in Uefa competitions, and to positive cooperation with Uefa, the Premier League, and fellow clubs through the ECA on the continued development of the European game.”

The UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has suggested that it will soon launch new regulation that will block English clubs from joining any proposed breakaway league.

Fans protested in April 2021 when the initial plans were revealed

(Getty Images)

The Super League continues to be supported prominently by Real Madrid and Barcelona, but other big continental clubs have reinforced their opposition to the proposal.

“Such a competition would be an attack on the importance of the national leagues and the structure of European football,” Jan Christian Dreesen, the chief executive of Bayern Munich, said. “The Bundesliga is the foundation of FC Bayern, just as all national leagues are the foundation of other European football clubs.

“It is therefore our duty and our deep conviction to strengthen them, not to weaken them. We are also committed to the European club competitions under the umbrella of UEFA. So let me make it very clear once again that the door for the Super League remains closed at FC Bayern.”

Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, noted that the “football community does not support the European Super League”, while fellow La Liga competitors Sevilla posted a graphic on X (formerly Twitter) stating: “Earn it on the pitch”.

The ECA earlier issued a statement clarifying that the ECJ’s judgement “in no way endorses” the Super League plans.

It continued: “In short, the world of football moved on from the Super League years ago and progressive reforms will continue.

“Most importantly, football is a social contract not a legal contract – all the recognized stakeholders of European and world football – spanning confederations, federations, clubs, leagues, players and fans – stand more united than ever against the attempts by a few individuals pursing personal agendas to undermine the very foundations and basic principles of European football.”